Veteran Moves Off the Streets to Apartment, In Time for Christmas

ABC News' Jonathan Karl visits a homeless veteran on the day he moved from a tent to an apartment.
3:52 | 12/27/15

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Transcript for Veteran Moves Off the Streets to Apartment, In Time for Christmas
In our "Sunday spotlight" this morning, a look at a fight to end homeless veterans. Despite a dramatic decline, the are still more than 47,000 veterans living on the streets this holiday season. I met up with one of those vets. This is my tent. The leaves and stuff were falling off, so I put these trees in front of -- This has been home? Yes, right here. Reporter: Tony Jones knows a thing or two about camouflaging a tent, he learned it in army. Basic training, that's how I learned how to do the trenching around the tent? Reporter: Stuff you learned in the army. Ever think you would end up like this, homeless? No, not in a million years. Reporter: Tony lives in this small patch of wilderness in southeast Washington, just a few miles from the white house. For the past six years he's been homeless. Oh, I have been looking for this. What's that? Poetry I write. I didn't know you're a poet. I didn't know I was a poet, either. This is your handwriting here? Yes. Can you read a couple of lines? I am not alone but yet I am lonely for my other half and it is not near or by me for I am the lonely one. Reporter: He served in the army for two years. Today, his most prized possessions are his books. I like dean Koontz, Stephen king and I like Sandra brown. Reporter: But he cherishes one book above all -- This is my mom's bible here. The only thing I wanted when she died was her bible. But she didn't know you were homeless? Nobody knows. Why didn't you tell her? I didn't want sympathy from nobody. I'm a grown man, I can take care of myself. Reporter: He finds inspiration from one verse in particular. For a living dog is better than a dead lion. What does it mean? The dog is still living. The lion ain't got nothing going on. You know, some time I felt like giving up some time. Be so miserable and cold. I feel like everything's going against me. But I think about that scripture all the time. It pulled me right out of there. There are too many homeless veterans. There are so many of us. Why are there so many homeless veterans even now? My case was, I was too scared to ask for help. I was embarrassed about it. I didn't know who I was going to help for ask. Reporter: Emily, a caseworker with Miriam's kitchen, an organization dedicated to ending homelessness in Washington D.C., she helped Jones apply for a voucher which will pay for his rent. Housing comes first. Once someone gets a roof over their head, other things fall into place easier. It's like moving from a dungeon to a castle, I'm not lying. There it is. Reporter: For the first time in years, Tony walks into his home through a door. Please come in my castle. Tony can now take a shower and put on a suit so he can go to a job interview. Sleeping in a tent that's a lot harder to do. I can't express in words how I feel right now. I feel great. I feel good. I feel like James brown, "I feel good." I love Tony Jones. You can see more of my conversation with him at Thank you for sharing part

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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